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On 9/11, A Look At Civil Liberties

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Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says the government should be careful to continue to protect civil liberties in the post-9/11 world.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says the government should be careful to continue to protect civil liberties in the post-9/11 world.

The whole nation was caught off guard when those planes were hijacked and turned into missiles 10 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001. In the wake of the tragedy, Congress greatly expanded the power of the executive branch, allowing officials to track phone calls without warrants and to hold suspects who weren't charged with crimes.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says there's a fine line that should never be crossed in the name of security.

"We can't rationalize the erosion of our own civil liberties for the sake of our civil liberties," he says. "I believe that national security is not and must not be incompatible with the American character which prizes civil liberties above everything else, so we have to make the two compatible and I believe we can." 

After the attacks, D.C. also got a face lift, with new security barriers and some bomb shields attached to federal buildings. But Democratic Rep. Jim Moran (Va.) says U.S. security forces need to continue their transformation along with Al Qaeda and foreign governments.

"I don't think that the kind of terrorist attacks that we experienced ten years ago are as much of a threat today as a serious cyber attack," says Moran. 

Officials say future cyber attacks could cripple the U-S economy if they aren't repelled.


Kentucky Boy Solves Rubik's Cube In Record Time

A 14-year-old boy from Lexington, Ky., has solved a Rubik's Cube in less than five seconds. As Guinness World Records declares this a record-breaker, we hear how NPR covered a Rubik's Cube competition in 1981.
WAMU 88.5

Recipes Get A Makeover With GIFs, Science, And Emojis

On Food Wednesday, we explore the new ways recipes are being presented, with everything from GIFs to scientific method.

WAMU 88.5

International Military Action In Syria

French President Hollande meets with President Obama in Washington to seek additional U.S. support in the fight against ISIS in Syria, and NATO holds an emergency meeting over the downed Russian fighter jet: An update on international military strategy in Syria.


Used Rocket Is A New Breakthrough For Blue Origin's Space Plan

Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, has sent a craft past the edge of space and then landed its rocket safely – and vertically — in Texas.

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